Mansell continued: "The Formula BMW concept has only been running since 2002 but it has already produced an F1 driver in the shape of Nico Rosberg, who won the 2002 Formula BMW ADAC Championship in Germany. Greg and Leo have shown good pace in testing and we have high hopes for next season and beyond."
Commenting on entering Formula BMW Greg Mansell said: "Dad has always been very supportive of what we have done but he has never tried to force Leo or I into motor sport. Dad was actually keen for me to pursue a career in Golf, but he is delighted that I have decided to compete in Formula BMW and it is great to have his backing."
Nigel Mansell will start his ambassador role at the inaugural Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain this weekend. Young racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series will compete against each other. The winner will get a test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Mansell will show demonstration laps in a BMW M1 ProCar in front of the crowd. Greg and Leo will also get another chance to test the Formula BMW in Bahrain before they start the 2006 season.
Formula BMW is the world’s leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2005 the series was held in Germany, the UK, Asia and the USA. Up-and-coming drivers as young as 15-years-old are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.
This racing car has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. The single-seater is propelled by a 140 bhp BMW engine up to 230km/h and exceeds the FIA safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has developed the FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat especially for Formula BMW. The HANS safety system is also mandatory.
In 2005, Formula BMW was staged five times as part of the Formula One support programme. All the series offer a multifaceted Education and Coaching Programme as well as sponsorship for promising racing talents. The best-known alumni of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher, Christian Klien and Nico Rosberg.
BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen: "Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a car. In the Education and Coaching Programme we have designed specially for them, they learn everything they need to know to hold their own in the big wide world of motor racing. Formula BMW has shot out of the blocks to become the top entry-level class for Formula racing worldwide."Published 14 December 2005